Public Consultation On The New Policy For Private Recreational Leases

HAB Private Recreational Lease Review

Important Message to all ABC members:

         The accompanying information, in Power Point format, summarises the main points from the Briefing given by HAB and DLO to all PRL Clubs last Thursday concerning the intended review of PRL conditions.

         The thrust and intent of the review is to impose a Land Premium [currently NIL] w.e.f 2027, in addition to the current Ground Rent and Rates, which will substantially increase the levy paid by Clubs for the use of the land.

This move is in response to public and press criticism of the privileged status which Clubs have enjoyed since their inception---developments mostly encouraged by Government at various times in the past in order to make use of  vacant, often unattractive, land areas and to benefit Communities. That wheel has now turned a full half circle.

          There are two threads to this: i] the perception that Clubs, the ‘wealthy elites’, are enjoying an unfair advantage behind closed doors; and ii] that Clubs fail to open up their Facilities to local Communities as is required, in particular since 2011. It is worth noting that ABC is fully compliant in that respect.

         HAB is well aware that the critical chorus is mostly based on popular misconceptions and that Clubs do indeed provide, at a direct cost to members, a valuable service which extends beyond Club confines into the local Community. Nonetheless Governments have to respond to shifts in the public mood, albeit in this case with a sense of balance and a large degree of sympathy for the Club ethos and the benefits that sporting facilities bring to Hong Kong as a whole. Facilities which .if removed from Club stewardship would of necessity have to be provided by Government, in effect the taxpayer.

        The purpose of this introductory letter is simply to bring this major issue to your immediate attention and not---at this stage---to delve into the detail or to marshal arguments to counter the intended increase in Land Premium.

          Suffice it to say that during the 6 month consultation period it is vital [to borrow from HAB’s advice] that the Club as well as individuals, members and staff, write in to HAB with their views and be ready to counter in person or in the press misconceived criticism.

          The Club will consider providing members with a more detailed briefing and in the meantime will be preparing a formal submission to HAB.

         Please feel free to raise queries, in person or in writing with any Committee member and the GM. The Club needs your full support to protect its and your own interests.

- Chris Pooley, Commodore

Meanwhile please also read the documents below and if you have any comments concerning the new lease conditions do reply to the HAB consultation team directly at

Summary of the HAB Briefing

First, the press release on HAB's PRL Review.

And the actual 63 page Review.

(English version)

(Chinese version)